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What happens when you get COVID-19 and it’s bad enough that you need to be treated in the hospital?

Most hospital care involves management of conditions that happen as a result of a COVID-19 infection, for instance, pneumonia or severe respiratory distress. Most treatment for these conditions includes respiratory support. This support may be high-flow oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, or in rare cases organ support with a breathing tube inserted through the mouth or nose into the windpipe coupled with mechanical ventilation.

Therapies that specifically target the COVID-19 virus, such as antivirals, are in various stages of development and testing. For one patient suffering from coronavirus in the US, doctors were granted compassionate use permission from the Food and Drug Administration to test an experimental drug outside of a clinical trial. When the clinical trials are concluded, we'll learn whether the drug, remdesivir, is effective for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Drafted 17 March 2020